Does Caked Soil Indicate Not Enough or Too Much Water?

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Millions of homeowners across the country know just how harsh the Australian climate can be when it comes to their front garden. They may understand how crucial it is to have an irrigation system in place, to make sure that it is working properly and to schedule it very precisely. However, this problem pales into insignificance compared to the challenge faced by farmers, who have to make sure that their crops are well cared for and mature exactly on time, no matter what the weather conditions. If you're facing some significant issues with regard to your crop and soil conditions, you may worry that your yield may suffer accordingly. How can you improve your mechanised irrigation systems so that they are more effective?

Not Enough Water?

You may have recently planted some fields and have introduced a new irrigation system, but something is going wrong. The soil appears to be cracked or caked, as if it's not receiving enough water, whereas the opposite may be true.

Too Much?

It's possible that your delivery protocol is simply too heavy, and the individual droplets are bouncing off the surface to cause disruption instead of absorption. These large droplets gather together in pools on the surface of the land, as there is simply too much volume and the soil is not able to absorb the nutrient effectively. As these droplets hit the surface, tiny particles of soil break off and float on the top of the water pool instead. Some of the water will eventually seep into the soil, but much of it will evaporate, and the end result is that the soil is in a worse condition than it was before.

Remedial Actions

If you're facing this issue, then you need to adjust your irrigation system carefully so that you don't come up against this problem. Make sure that the soil is able to absorb the water by reducing the system output so that the water droplets are much smaller. This will prevent run-off and have a much kinder impact on the soil surface as well.

You may also have to adjust the footprint of your pivot machine or extend the reach of each individual arm with the aim of improving the infiltration rate.

What to Do Next

One thing is for certain; you do need to take action as soon as you can, as otherwise you may lose some of your crops or may even have to replant the entire field. Talk with an irrigation expert to see if your system is correctly configured. If they find that it isn't, they will help you to adjust or modify so that you can get back on track.